Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • U
  • Drama, Romance
  • 1959
  • 141 mins

Rio Bravo

Rio Bravo


"John Wayne, the big guy with the battered hat... and Dean Martin, the ragged woman-wrecked cast-off called Dude... and Ricky Nelson, the rockin' babyfaced gunfisted kid... And time was running out through bullet holes at Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo".


This is about a sheriff (Duke Wayne), who says in a tough situation, "You better hope your friends don't catch up with me, 'cause you'll be the first man to die."

The hero in this the first and best of Howard Hawks' informal trilogy (El Dorado, Rio Lobo) is the aptly named John T Chance. During a period of two or three days he holds a murderer in his jail, waiting for the US Marshall. His only help comes from a drunk (a perfectly cast Dean Martin), who redeems himself, a cocky youngster Colorado (rock star Ricky Nelson), who proves invaluable and an old man (Brennan), who remains totally consistent. Like a family - grandfather, two contrary sons and a grandson - they unite against unwelcome intrusion.

Flawlessly cast, complex, amusing and exciting, the film integrates multi-layered themes into a unified and satisfying whole. And it's great entertainment, something a few critics forget to mention.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: John Russell, Harry Carey Jr, Ward Bond, John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, Bob Steele, Walter Brennan, Angie Dickinson, Claude Akins, Dean Martin
  • Director: Howard Hawks
  • Screen Writer: Jules Furthman, Leigh Brackett
  • Producer: Howard Hawks
  • Photographer: Russell Harlan
  • Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin

In a nutshell

If you don't like Rio Bravo, you don't like films.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Thunder Island

    Thriller. A hit man (Gene Nelson) is hired to kill a former Caribbean dictator. He abducts a couple and their boat to reach the despot's island, but then his plans go badly wrong.

  • Film4

    The Enchanted Forest

    An old man raises a young boy who became lost in the woods, teaching him about life and nature

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF: five favourites

    Elena Lazic reports from the Toronto International Film festival on her five favourites of the fest. The Lobster Yorgos Lanthimos' success in realising the usually disastrous combination of farci

  • Channel 4 Blog

    TIFF: five favourites

    Manuela Lazic reports from the Toronto International Film Festival on five favourites from the fest. The Witch What if the sorceresses and deadly spells in which people believed so fervently in th

Register with

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register